Eddie Van Halen live at the New Haven Coliseum in the late 1970s. (Photo: Carl Lender.)
The late, great Eddie Van Halen, who sadly left this mortal coil on Tuesday, influenced a whole generation and more with his virtuousic, inventive, effervescent style of guitar playing. While many fans can easily remember and sing along to the arena-ready anthems and ballads from their storied history, many may not know of a special piece which emerged in the blockbuster Twister movie back in 1996. Specifically, the closing instrumental that emerges as composer Mark Mancina’s final and more traditional, symphonic “End Credits” fade away. Co-composed and performed with his brother Alex (presumably on keyboards), “Respect The Wind” is an epic instrumental track that perfectly mirrors the roller coaster ride of the movie itself which focused on storm chasers in Oklahoma. Eddie’s playing is gritty, larger than life, but at times also restrained as his stirring notes cascade over the haunting keyboards underneath. The repeating structure is simple yet effective as he subtly alters his soloing throughout.
Another bit of trivia that some fans may not know or perhaps recall is that EVH also composed much of the soundtrack to the 1984 movie The Wild Life which was written by Cameron Crowe and also featured music from Donn Landee and Alain Johannes. That teen flick co-starred Chris Penn, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Eric Stoltz, Jenny Wright, and Lea Thompson. You can find the music here. Numerous Van Halen songs have also been used in movies since the 1980s.